The bar scene in Osaka is one of the best across Japan, with lively Izakayas, cocktail bars and craft beer places all on the rise. While many travellers skip this zany city in favour of nearby Kyoto, it’s well worth a visit for an authentic Japanese experience.
Once you’ve explored the city and eaten your fill of delicious yakitori, hit up one of the many great bars in town. Here’s our top picks…
Best bars in OsakaHow do these rankings work?
This unusual bar is made entirely from parts of an old submarine and is an other-worldly place to come for a cocktail or two. It’s tucked away in the backstreets of Osaka and it feels like you’ve discovered something really special when you enter. A super Instagrammable spot.
2. Tachinomi bars
Often translated a “standing bar,” there are two very distinct types of tachinomiya in Osaka: licensed restaurants and small, privately owned liquor shops. Both types have mismatched stools outside and cheap booze, with a lovely local vibe. Wander down the alleys of the Tenma neighbourhood for a bar crawl to remember.
KAMIKAZE is famous for its craft beer in the city and is a must-visit for any beer lover. It’s a chill bar with 23 taps pouring ji-biru (Japanese craft beer) and friendly staff who will guide you towards the perfect pint.
If you want to really let loose in Osaka then this￥500 Martini bar is the best place to be. An iconic staple of the city’s nightlife scene, CinqueCento is always busy with people having a good time. Basically, it’s always Happy Hour here.
Learn all about sake at this cosy bar that serves superb Japanese whiskey, shochu, awamori and tasting flights of sake. It’s welcoming and a great spot to visit if you’re i Osaka by yourself. The owners even replaced the front entrance with a big sliding door so that people can peep inside easily to make the bar approachable and comfortable for both locals and travellers alike.
A growing trend in Japan is gaming bars, and Space is one of the few in Osaka that doesn’t have a cover charge. Space has 13 consoles, 8 screens, and heaps of games – from all your nostalgic NES favourites to the latest games. Cocktails are delicious too, with funky names such as Gin Sonic.
One of the coolest bars in the city, Bar Nayuta is a speakeasy-style cocktail joint that’s a stylish tribute to the golden era of cocktail making. Bartenders make their own infusions and bitters for the bespoke cocktails. It’s hidden on fifth floor of a corner building near Triangle Park, but is worth the effort it takes to find it.